Head & Shoulders tackles dandruff stigma in Japan with animated campaign via Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore

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Head & Shoulders tackles dandruff stigma in Japan with animated campaign via Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore

Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore launches fast-paced, action-packed animated adventure for their first campaign for Head & Shoulders in the Japanese market. The campaign sheds light on male dandruff, a common yet not openly discussed, hence stigmatized, problem with a simple solution.


“Don’t let dandruff get in the way” is the action-oriented message in the new campaign that launches April 8th across Japan to promote a new line of anti-dandruff products from H&S. The Japanese market is still underdeveloped in terms of anti-dandruff solutions, and very few men dare speak of their scalp issues openly. This campaign dramatizes the stigma around male dandruff in an unexpected way by tapping into the popular anime context.

Called “The Chase”, a series of animated adventures tells the story of how our hero, Ando the spy, discovers he has dandruff and ultimately overcomes it with h&s Scalp. Despite repeatedly escaping his nemesis, Detective Takashi and his henchmen, in a chase around the world, he is finally captured. Asking how the detective constantly manages to find him, he learns that what gives him away really is his dandruff. But after using h&s scalp, he once again manages to escape – but this time without a trace.

“The campaign not only marks the launch of our new line of anti-dandruff products in Japan, but is also the start of an exciting new journey where we want to help men break free from the stigma that surrounds dandruff, providing a solution both to a haircare issue and an everyday life barrier“, said Kylene Campos, Vice President Japan and Korea, Hair Care at P&G.

Shum Qihao, Creative at Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore, said: “Dandruff is known to be a sensitive hygiene issue in Japan. We decided to push the boundaries and go with action and humor as an approach. We conceived Ando to prove the point that getting rid of dandruff is easier than most people think, and created a relatable yet aspirational character for audiences to showcase that. Every scene is crafted to dramatize the annoying consequences of having dandruff and how Ando finally finds the perfect solution to break free from it.”

The humorous story and the charismatic and aspirational character of Ando represent a new chapter in h&s Japan’s advertising, to coincide with the launch of its new line of anti-dandruff products. Through three entertaining films, the brand tackles Japanese men’s fear of judgement over dandruff in a new way; a light-hearted and humorous approach that destigmatizes the topic and offers a simple solution.

Studies conducted by h&s show that more than four out of ten Japanese men suffer from dandruff, and half of those worry that others perceive them as unhygienic.

“We based the campaign on the insight that dandruff is stigmatizing in Japan where the appearance of cleanliness is important. Greasiness and dandruff are associated with the feeling of shame and perception of being unhygienic, meaning few men discuss the issue or its possible solutions with others, and they are held back in daily life because of it. With this campaign, we tackle the issue by addressing it head on with humour, showing we understand the audience in a way that breaks the category convention.” said Julia Blomquist, Planner at Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore.

Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore worked with Psyop/Blacklist, renowned for managing the best animators in the world and high-profile animation company Wizz’s director duo CRCR to bring the vision of Ando and this adventure to life. Animation is a category convention breaking approach, aimed to stand out from traditional product focused shampoo commercials. The 2.5D animation style was chosen to convey the desired mix between the realism of the characters and settings and the liberties animation allows for which heightens both the action and humour of the film.

The campaign features both a long 70 seconds action film and two shorter spots for TV and social media, accompanied by key visuals and GIFs for social media and digital display.

Fans can follow Ando and his mission under the hashtag #OperationRescueFromDandruff. Adding to that, Ando will be taking over h&s Japan’s Twitter account where he will provide advice for men suffering from dandruff. There will also be a question box available for those who wish to ask questions anonymously.

This is Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore’s first campaign for Head & Shoulders, a client for which the remit is long-term brand campaigns Japan. Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore has quickly established themselves as champions of creativity in the APAC region; growing from 4 to 22 employees in 2 years, and proving their credentials by winning Bronze for Boutique Agency of the Year – South East Asia in the Agency of the Year Awards 2020.



Head & Shoulders tackles dandruff stigma in Japan with animated campaign via Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore Head & Shoulders tackles dandruff stigma in Japan with animated campaign via Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore

Client: Head & Shoulders
Vice President Japan and Korea, Hair Care at P&G: Kylene Campos
Brand Director Hair Care Japan at P&G: Afsheen Qaiser
Senior Brand Manager H&S Japan at P&G: Kinase Shun
Japan Hair Care Brand Manager, H&S and KIMEA at P&G: Anggia Pulungan
Creative Agency: Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore
Creative: Shum Qihao
Creative: Ivan Guerra
Creative: Firrdaus Yusoff
Creative: Joakim Laabraten
Creative: John Bergdahl
Creative: Patrick Knowlton
Designer: Jason Feng
Account Director: Tammy Cheok
Account Director: Stephanie Haugen-Ray
Campaign Manager: Adrian Ortiz
Planner: Julia Blomquist
Engagement Planner: Sanna Britsman
Executive Producer: Ali Loveday-Herzinger
CEO: Susanna Fagring
Production Company: Psyop/Blacklist
Director: CRCR
Animation studio: Wizz @ Quad group
Animation Production company : WIZZ @ Quad Group
Directors : CRCR
Producer WIZZ : Amanda Stubbs
Post Producer WIZZ : Claire Prudhomme
Character Designer : Juliette Brocal
Animators :
Leyla Kaddoura
Marlene Beaube
David Bradshaw
Etienne Faivre
Léonard Ferrer
Jack-Amin Ibrahim
Arthur Sotto
Valentin Stoll
Florian de Chelle
Maxime Jouniot
Trainee animators
Elodie Xia
Vincent Pistien
Nawel Bahamou
Animatic : Antoine Rota & Kristian Antonelli
Rick Thiele – Red Knuckles Creative Directors
Mario Ucci – Red Knuckles Creative Directors
Pedro Lino – Red Knuckles Executive Producer
Mercedes Vidal Breard – Red Knuckles Project Manager
Yann Benedi – Lead Background Artist
Irena Šmitáková – Background Artist
Emilis Baltrusaitis – Background Artist
Jack Stevens – Background Artist
Clément Danveau – Color Boards
Remy Herisse – Previz Animator
Guillaume Cassuto – Lead Compositor
Clarisse Valeix – Compositor
Lisa Mandelli – Compositor
Original Music & Sound Design: Antfood
ECD / Partner: Wilson Brown
Executive Producer: Sue Lee
Senior Producer: Trevor Haimes
Composer / Sound Designer: Rory White
Executive Producer: Adina Sales / Andrew Linsk
Associate Producer: Leah Dorfman
Studio: Technicaland
VO forTakashi: Takatsuka Masaya
VO Ando: Oda Yusei Ando
Media Agency: Hearts & Science HAKUHODO
Media planner: An Sakai
Media planner: Rikako Ito
Digital planner: Ryo Sato
PR & Activation: Material
Executive Storyteller: Wataru Sek
Storyteller: Ryo Tobit
PR director: Miki Onuma
PR director: Mio Nakauch
PR director: Kazu Matsuura
Influencer marketer: Kotone Harada
Distribution Partner: Verizon Media (Amplify 360)
Client Director: Yangze Wang
Strategy & Distribution Lead: Yuki Narouka
Project Lead: Liv Koch Sørensen